MMA in Africa and the struggles of Afghan refugees in the sport

MMA set to make debut in 2023 African Games

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) will be a demonstration sport in the 2023 African Games, along with other non-Olympic sports.

The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) is thrilled with the news, which highlights the sport's rapid growth and increasing popularity.

With 24 member federations in Africa, GAMMA sees the inclusion of MMA in the games as a positive sign of Africa's readiness for new sports with global interest.

The African Games provide a great opportunity to witness the best athletes in Africa competing in this exciting sport.

Sports fans can look forward to enjoying MMA alongside e-sports, speedball, sambo, teqball and more.

Afghan refugees find hope in MMA amid struggles

MMA has become a beacon of hope for Afghan refugees struggling to survive and make a living.

Professional MMA fighter, Parwaiz Arabzai, who is originally from Afghanistan, found refuge in France where he is homeless and has no family.

Meanwhile, Sayed Waris Hashime and Baz Mohammad Mubariz, who advanced MMA in Afghanistan, fled the country after the Taliban takeover and are now living in Switzerland and Thailand, respectively.

Many fighters fear for their lives as the Taliban banned MMA after taking over Afghanistan, and female fighters have lost their rights to work and practice MMA.

Despite the challenges, Arabzai's achievements are inspiring as he rose from being homeless in Paris to reaching MMA’s professional ranks. MMA has given hope, purpose and a new lease on life for many Afghan refugees.

Challenges remain for Afghan fighters

Parwaiz Arabzai's first few fights earned him around $1,000, which is not enough to live on.

Sayed Waris Hashime is waiting for a decision on his asylum claim and is unable to work or pursue his ambitions for a professional career.

Baz Mohammad Mubariz is living without a visa in Thailand after escaping from Kabul.

The MMA community, including Mathieu Nicourt, owner of the Free Fight Academy, which spotted Arabzai's potential, needs sponsors to help fighters like Arabzai prepare well and give them a good career in MMA.

Despite the challenges, Afghan fighters are determined to continue advancing MMA and create opportunities for themselves and other refugees.

MMA provides an outlet for refugees

MMA has become an outlet for Afghan refugees to cope with their struggles and find hope.

Arabzai is motivated by his sport and sees it as an opportunity to inspire other refugees and fighters.

The MMA community has become a family for many refugees who have lost theirs due to conflict and displacement.

MMA provides a sense of purpose, belonging, and a platform to showcase their talents and stories.

MMA has given hope, purpose, and a new lease on life for many Afghan refugees.

The future of MMA in Africa and beyond

MMA's inclusion in the African Games is a significant milestone for the sport in Africa and beyond.

It highlights the sport's growing appeal, especially among young people, and its potential to create opportunities and inspire change.

MMA continues to evolve and gain recognition as a legitimate sport with its unique blend of martial arts disciplines.

As more countries embrace MMA, it will continue to break barriers and create opportunities for athletes from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

MMA will undoubtedly continue to entertain and inspire sports fans worldwide.

In conclusion

MMA's inclusion in the 2023 African Games and its impact on refugees from Afghanistan highlight the power of sports to inspire, unite, and create opportunities.

Despite the challenges, MMA has become a beacon of hope for many refugees who have lost everything due to conflict and displacement.

MMA's future looks bright, and as it continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly attract more fans, create new opportunities and inspire many more stories of triumph over adversity.

References (June 26, 2023). MMA included in 2023 African Games. (June 26, 2023). Fighting for a life: The Afghan refugees finding hope in MMA.

Content Restricted To Members